To insulin pumpers - bad sites

i have a question to you pumpers out there. i have been experiencing difficulty with my pump sites, lately. they are only lasting one or two days and when i check them, there is blood. i’m usually one that changes the site before trying to eliminate other variables, if i have a high sugar. yesterday my site change was the last thing i did and was over 350 all day long! i hate to “waste” all the insets, but i don’t know what else to do. i’m asking for suggestions? or where do you put your site when the “best” real estate needs time to heal?

I can totally commiserate! This past week has been an epic fail of almost every infusion site :frowning: Sorry that I have no suggestions, but I’m curious to see what others post!

I’m still learning about infusion sets, but I switched from using my stomach because it seemed I was always bending, or having my cat sit on it, and it just seemed in the way. I now use my hips and my thighs occasionally to give the hips a break; much less problems. Although I, like Kate, sometimes have a couple days of repeated problems for no obvious reason, then it’s fine for awhile. The shorter infusion sets seemed to be worse for me which made sense, as it can pop out too easily. I seem to have more problems with sets popping out than getting bent. YMMV

If the site change did not help I wonder if your insulin is still potent? Or is an infection starting somewhere? Or do you, like me, have a sugar fairy that sprinkles glucose into the carpet and it’s absorbed through your feet? Happens to me every morning on my way to the bathroom…


Tell us what set you are using . . . That might clue us to a suggestion for you.

LOL! Is that what it is. An infestation of sugar fairies :slight_smile: Love it.

Hi, this might not be a help. Anyway, when I’m on the pump, I pay attention to not taking too many supplements that thin out the blood in order to prevent gushers or bloody sites when removing the set. I take an 81 mg. aspirin daily, also I like to take bilberry for my eyesight, so on the pump I drop the bilberry. ( Also I use Apidra and Sure-Ts, both of which are supposed to be changed every two days.)

I’m kinda running out of sites to use. I talked with my CDE, and I’m going to try alternating angle insets with short insets.

I found that when i use the angled sets I have a tendency to insert them at an angle that is too deep. That makes it very painful and irritating. I was having bad luck with them so I switched to the steel sets. That way if an area is irritated or hurts I can just change the site, but keep the same set. Saved me a ton of worry and money. Of course, there are a couple area;s around my belly that I just need to avoid altogether.

I’ve been changing my set every other day for several years now. I have some “real estate” that’s been condemned, lol. I also keep track of my rotation (seeblog here) so I don’t go within a square inch of another site in 30 days. It’s helped. I switched to 6 mm cannula infusion sets too.

the sugar fairies still come around and sometimes I switch out everything including the bottle of insulin. being here on TuDiabetes helps me to deal with it all.

Thank you soooo much! This is the best explanation I have ever heard of why my blood sugars just decide to be high. I had considered every other reason…usually blaming myself for some unreasonable failure for high BGs. Now I know it has been the sugar fairies all this time.

ironically i just ordered some shorter sets to try, before reading this post! lol ;-O

those dang sugar fairies!! my house is covered with them!! :wink:

9mm insets by animas

thanks for all the great suggestions and comments!
please explain “steel sets”…??

Hi Aimee. I don’t know what type of pump your daughter is using, but if it’s MM, you might try the Sure-T, which is a thin metal needle. It is meant to help with children/thin people. Other pumps have metal needles as well; it might help with the bent cannula problem.

Instead of a teflon catheter (the part that goes in to you) it is steel just like what you use to inject with a needle although modified for this intended use.

What would be the reason, Trudy, why you would need to change your set more often using Apidra?

Apidra breaks down pretty fast. In the summer, I had to change my cartridge out every day and a half.

Hi Zoe. I just rechecked the brochure that comes with the vials of Apidra, and it does indeed say to change the reservoir using Apidra every two days. I have tried to go longer with Apidra in the same reservoir, which you can do with the Sure-T’s by changing the needle part of the set and continuing with the same reservoir, and it just doesn’t work for me. The insulin seems to lose it’s potency, not worth watching the BG’s go higher with time. Novolog seems to go a little longer in the reservoir, I’ve forgotten the details, but the action of Novolog is so much slower that I just purely hate it.

As for changing the Sure-T’s every two days, when I’ve tried to go longer, I got blood at the site which dilutes the insulin, so that doesn’t work either. However, using Apidra and Sure-T’s together and changing them every two days works beautifully. Hope that answers your question.